The South Carolina Aquarium invites runners and walkers of all ages and abilities to sign up for a scenic sunset 5K on the beach with its annual Turtle Trek 5K on Sept. 21.
The annual 5K takes place on the sands of Isle of Palms and raises money for the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Care Centerä and other conservation initiatives. South Carolina Aquarium houses the only sea turtle hospital in the Palmetto State and has rehabilitated and released a total of 281 sea turtles back into their natural habitats since opening in 2000.
“Turtle Trek is one of our favorite events of the year here at the Aquarium,” Stephanie Gabosch, strategic partnerships officer, said. “It has sold out every year that we’ve put the race on and we expect that it will sell out well ahead of the actual event again this year.”
The festivities begin at 4:30 pm with a beach sweep and warm-up. Beach debris such as cigarette butts and plastic left behind from humans get swept into the ocean and digested by sea turtles as well as other animals and birds. So far, a total of 230,764 pieces of debris have been entered into South Carolina Aquarium’s Litter-Free Journal, a digital app that allows citizens to help the Aquarium track litter, in 2019.
A Kids Fun Run at 5:30 pm precedes the 5K run at 6 pm. Following the race, runners and supporters are invited to attend an afterparty at The Windjammer for food, prizes and live music from Moxie.
This year’s race is presented by Crews Suburu of Charleston and Publix Super Markets.
“The Suburu brand is, and always has been, about conservation and the environment, Ken French, marketing and events manager, said. “With Turtle Trek taking place on the beach and supporting the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles, it was a ‘no-brainer.’”
Aquarium members receive a discount if they register by Aug. 31. Race registration includes race entry, t-shirt and an after-race meal provided by Swig and Swine. South Carolina Aquarium also offers a remote runner option that includes a mailed race t-shirt and bib.
Sign up now at scaquarium.org/turtletrek.